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The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, SFBH, Wellington

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, SFBH, Wellington

February 25 2010
The San Francisco Bath House, Wellington

Reviewed by Brannavan Gnanalingam
29th March 2010

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Thursday 25th February
San Francisco Bath House, Wellington

New York power pop band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are going to be big. The kind of big that seems equal parts serendipity, talent, and the kind of hype that only New York bands seem to be able to get (though truth be told, their band-name isn’t great). Their self-titled debut album was great in its simplicity – fuzzy guitars, warm harmonies and a great melodic touch. However, their Wellington show was disappointing in that it felt like they were simply going through the motions, what had probably been a mammoth tour looking like it had taken its toll on the band.

And while their overall show was disappointing, you could see the flashes of what made them their name. ‘Come Saturday’, all ‘ooohs’ and wall of guitars was a set highlight, but the band did little throughout to differentiate their songs or attempt much in terms of banter to the crowd. It was merely a professional show, delivered well and competently. But I’m not sure the half full San Fran audience were after something like that – it must be difficult when one is in a band that has received so much hype so quickly. That said, there isn’t any doubt the band possess enough talent for any future releases to have excitement potential.

In the days before the show Galesburg/Strange News who brought the show over announced they were going to go on an indefinite break. Responsible for some of the best shows Auckland and Wellington have seen in the last few years, they’ve been key to introducing great music to the burgeoning music scenes around the country (sometimes they’ve been ahead of the trends too, which is great for music fans but probably not good from a financial point of view). But Pains of Being Pure at Heart was one of their last – there’s Pavement and Dirty Projectors to come for Galesburg and Wooden Shjips and Deerhoof for Strange News - and although this show would hardly have been the fitting farewell they were after, this partnership is one that most good music fans would surely be sad to see end.

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